International Student FAQs

You have questions. We have answers!

Below is a list of frequently asked questions (International student FAQs) that will get you the information you need, when you need it! If you are still have a question, email Admissions at

Frequently Asked Questions

What documents are required for my admission into Cleary University?

See the checklists at the top of the International Students page.

Am I eligible for institutional aid?

International students are not eligible for Federal Student Aid (loans and grants from the federal government.   However, international students are eligible for institutional aid, which is granted by Cleary University.

Traditional Undergraduate: You are eligible for academic scholarships based on an SAT or ACT score and also your GPA (grade point average) in the equivalent 4.0 USA grading scale.  If you are recruited by one of our NAIA Athletic teams, you may be eligible for a scholarship also.

Non- Traditional Undergraduate: If you are transferring from another university or community college you are eligible for academic scholarships and also NAIA Athletic Scholarships if you are recruited.

Graduate: You are eligible for an academic scholarship based on your GPA

  • For the 2019-2020 academic calendar, we are offering a housing discount of 30% for international students who want to stay on campus.

See Scholarships & Grants page.

I keep hearing about FAFSA, what is it and am I eligible?

FAFSA- stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid. FAFSA is only available for students are USA citizens, permanent residents, or have refugee or asylum status. International students on an F-1 visa are not eligible. In the USA this is also referred to as Financial Aid, which can commonly be confused as scholarships.

What English proficiency test should I take?

International students must demonstrate English proficiency along with other admissions requirements.


 English Proficiency Requirements 1,2 TOEFL  (iBT) IELTS Duolingo English Test MELAB PTE CERL  (Common European Framework for Language)
 UNDERGRADUATE  70 or higher6.0 overall band score or higher 95 or higher 75 or higher 50 or higher B2 or higher
 GRADUATE 80 or higher6.5 overall band score or higher 105 or higher 75 or higher 58 or higher B2 or higher

1Students who do not meet the minimum scores by a small margin may request a Cleary University conducted English proficiency interview for full admission. The requirements may be waived for: 1) applicants whose native language is English are not required to complete a proficiency test; 2) applicants who have completed at least two years of post-secondary full-time study – as defined by the home institution, in a country where English is the primary language and at an institution where English is the medium of instruction, and within five years of the proposed term of initial enrollment – are not required to complete a proficiency test.  Documentation as to these conditions is required; 3)   students who have completed at least one semester of English Composition at a U.S. college or university (at a course level of 100 or higher) with a grade of “B” or higher (4-point GPA scale).

2All exam scores must be less than 2 years old.

How do I need to provide my transcripts or educational records?

You can be pre -admitted with copies of your transcripts, which can be sent to after an application is completed.   However to be eligible for scholarships and transfer credit; official transcripts must be submitted by mail or Parchment electronic services.

What do I do when I get a visa?

Once you have received your F-1 visa, please contact to let them know.  If your visa is denied, please let Cleary know, and whether you will reapply for another visa appointment.

What documentation should I bring to Cleary for International Orientation?

A copy of your passport, visa, I-94 card (which you will receive at your port-of-entry to the United States) and any previous I-20.

*If you are Canadian you will not be issued an F-1 student visa, you only need your passport, I-94 card and any previous I-20(If you are a transfer student)

How to send official transcripts:

Please send certified or attested copies of your transcript or education records to:

Cleary University
Office of International Admissions
3750 Cleary Drive
Howell, MI 48843

All transcripts, if not issued in English should have a certified translation into English.

All classes and courses will be evaluated for transfer consideration with course descriptions provided. If we are unable to do an in house evaluation you may be asked to use an NACES member evaluation service.

Students must provide an official copy of their high school and/or all previous college transcripts for their file at Cleary University.

Any students registering for classes without official transcripts on file accept responsibility for ensuring that they are not duplicating courses that might be brought in as transfer credit.

All transcripts must be sent from the originating schools directly to Cleary University and become the property of the University.

For schools able to email official transcripts, use when placing your order.

Do I need health insurance?

Unlike many other countries, the United States does not have socialized medicine. To ensure student safety and security, while in the United States, students are required to purchase health insurance upon arrival, unless they have coverage from their home country that would be accepted in the U.S. Health insurance fees cost approximately $400-$1,200 for 12 months (one year) dependent on the student’s age. We have more information at international orientation on insurance companies we recommend, but students are encouraged to also find their own.

For more information about the US health care system please watch this video:
Insurance options:

Who should I contact when I arrive in the United States?

Two days prior to your arrival, please contact, with your flight information. You may also contact directly Raj Singh with Metro DTW Sedan who will transport you from the airport to a local hotel near campus at 734.945.6067.

How can I make a hotel reservation?

If you need assistance with finding a hotel, or possibly staying on campus before classes please contact

What is a PDSO and a DSO?

The Primary Designated School Official (PDSO) and Designated School Official (DSO) are Cleary employees who are able to issue official documents and make changes and updates for international student records as part of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) systems.  Only a PDSO or DOS can issue an I-20 or make changes to certain student records.

When do I need to work with my academic advisor?

  • Change of major
  • Adding a minor
  • Change to schedule/ course sequence; example take a vacation/ break
  • Struggling with course work
  • Drop or add coursework( do not drop a course until you have conferred with your advisor)

When can a student start CPT when enrolled in the MBA/CPT program?

Students can begin work on their curricular practical training during their second semester enrolled. It is important to note that the curricular work experience in the MBA program is aimed at enhancing the learning experience in the United States business sector and earnings from this experience should be supplemental in nature and NOT be the sole source of tuition and fees required for the program.

What are the kinds of companies that one can work for during the CPT?

Students are able to work for any number of companies while in enrolled in the program during their second semester. The work experience must align with their learning experience associated with the program.

What is considered full time employment for an F-1 student?

If an F-1 student obtains work authorization for CPT, OPT or on campus employment, any hours over 20 per week is considered a full time position.

How do I maintain status as an F-1 Student?

  • Comply with all Department of Homeland Security regulations
  • Keep all immigration documents valid( passport, I-94 and I-20)
  • Extend your I-20( if needed) before its expiration date
  • Attend the school as indicated on your I-20
  • Report any changes to name, address, change of major, change of program of study, Change of Visa Status, change in dependent status or change in CPT Curricular Practical Training) or (Optional Practical Training) OPT employment to the PDSO or DSO within 10 days. Cleary will electronically report the address change to the federal government
  • Register as Full time student unless granted a RCL (reduced course load)
  • Must obtain prior authorization for RCL for the following reasons; academic difficulty, medical condition, final semester
  • Attend all scheduled on ground classes
  • Do not work off campus without authorization from Cleary for CPT and OPT
  • If employed on campus- no more than 20 hours a week
  • Obey state and Federal laws

* Failing to comply with USCIS/ SEVP F-1 student regulations, may result in termination for failing to maintain F1 status

When should I contact a PDSO/ DSO?

  • If you need to extend your I-20
  • Before you apply for work authorization, for OPT( FORM I765)
  • When you are interested in employment options
  • Before withdrawing from coursework
  • To report a change in address, phone number
  • To report a name change
  • Before applying for a Social Security number
  • To report a social security number
  • Before you leave the USA
  • If you apply for another visa status
  • If you apply for permanent residency( “ green card”)
  • During your last semester at Cleary
  • If you are transferring to another school
  • If you have a hold on your financial account at Cleary

What information should be on my Offer letter?

Offer letter should be on company letterhead and include the following:

  • Employer Name
  • Job Title
  • Job Description
  • Company Address
  • Start/End dates of employment must be equal to one year or less
  • Employment status Full time/Part time
  • EIN Number required for OPT Employment

What is a Social Security Card and when should I apply for one?

It is nine digit card specific to your identity used by the USA to monitor and track your earned wages and self-employment earning while working in the USA for on campus employment, CPT or OPT. You must apply for a Social Security card before working in the USA. You can contact one of the current PDSO or DSO for a letter before making an appointment at the social security office and a letter will be provided verifying your current F-1 status at Cleary University. You may need a Social security card to apply for a driver’s license or rent an apartment or house. If you do not plan on obtaining employment while in the USA, you can apply for a letter of ineligibility to apply for a Michigan driver’s license.

How do I apply for a Driver’s License?

You will need to find a secretary of state near you and bring the following requirements:

  • Social security Number or letter of ineligibility
  • Legal Presence
  • Identity Verification
  • Proof of Michigan residency

If you need assistance with proof of residency or legal presence please contact

More details can be found on the security of state website:,4670,7-127-1627_8669_9040_9043-312849--,00.html

Will I be able to work while enrolled as a student?

International Students may work on- campus if they meet certain requirements and if authorized by a PDSO or DSO, Students should NOT work without prior authorization.On Campus Employment:

  • Nonimmigrant Undergraduate and Graduate F-1 Cleary University students may obtain approved on-campus employment. On-campus employment includes/ requires:
  • Employment by Cleary University
  • Work at Cleary University extension site office
  • Be in good academic and financial standing
  • Not have reached program end date
  • Approved by PDSO/ DSO
  • In-status pursuing a full-time course of study
  • Pursuing a full-time course of study
  • Students may work up to 20 hours per week during school periods and up to 40 hours per week during school breaks on campus

*Nonimmigrant F-1 students are responsible for filing a non-resident tax return (1040-NR) at the end of each year the student is employed.

Off Campus Employment: CPT
Undergraduate: Students  are only eligible for CPT(Curricular Practical Training ) if they have attended Cleary full-time for one academic year and are enrolled in  our INT( internship) course and have a 2.0 higher Grade Point Average(GPA). Students must also maintain full time student status through the duration of authorized CPT, unless enrolled in an INT course during annual vacation.

F-1 graduate students may be eligible for off-campus employment during their second semester in what is known as Curricular Practical Training, or CPT. Graduate students enrolled in the Masters of Business Administration Program with the prescribed Curricular Practical Training component have the opportunity to work up to 40 hours per week as prescribed by their MBA program of study off campus in a business or company that will provide the necessary U.S. work experience.

Student must be:

  • Pursuing a full-time graduate course of study
  • Successfully complete at least one (1) academic semester
  • Meet and maintain satisfactory GPA requirements (3.0 or higher)
  • Maintain full time student status for the duration of CPT
  • Unless enrolled in the last semester in the program and on a Reduced Course Load (RCL)
  • The CPT position must be directly related to the major of study and augment the student’s studies
  • Once the student has secured a CPT position, they should file for a US Social Security number
  • A job offer letter must be presented, and approved by a school  PDSO or DSO prior to starting CPT position

Off Campus Employment Undergraduate and Graduate: OPT
Note: Students who have completed more than 364 days of full time CPT( 20+  hours per week) are NOT  eligible for OPT

  • Optional Practical Training (OPT) is temporary employment that is directly related to an F-1 student’s major area of study
  • Eligible students can apply to receive up to 12 months of OPT employment authorization after completing their academic studies
  • May apply up to 90 days before the program end date, but no later than 60 days after the program end date
  • Is adjudicated by UCSIS, Cleary University cannot approve, only recommend in SEVIS and assist with application

When should I file for taxes in the USA?

Every international student and their dependents are required to file their tax return if they were in the US during the previous calendar year. April 15th is the deadline to file prior year taxed in the U.S.

  • You might get a refund- Some international students will qualify for a refund due to tax treaties and a lack of serious income if they’ve earned income in the US.
  • You fulfill your visa obligations- All international students must file at least Form 8843 in order to remain legal under F visa, even if you didn’t earn any money in the US.

For more information: